Faculty LAC

Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program

Affiliated Faculty

 

Dickson Cunningham

Dickson in Ouro Preto BrazilDickson Cunningham is a Professor of Environmental Earth Science at Eastern Connecticut State University, having previously worked as an academic in the UK for 18 years at the University of Leicester.  He earned his PhD from the University of Texas, Austin, his Masters from the University of Arizona and his A.B from Dartmouth.  He also held NSF and NATO postdoctoral fellowships in Brazil and England respectively.  Dickson is a structural geologist and tectonicist with an extensive record of field-based research investigating mountain building processes in South America, Asia and Europe.  His PhD work involved the crustal evolution of the Patagonian Andes in southernmost Chile and he has since carried out field-based research on the tectonic development of the Brazilian Highlands.  He also has published on the origin of Drake Passage which separates South America from Antarctica.  He has published over 70 papers in peer-reviewed international journals and given more than 80 first-authored presentations at international conferences including an invited keynote presentation in Ouro Preto, Brazil in 2012.

Areas of interest
Structural evolution and tectonic geomorphology of the Brazilian Highlands, tectonic development of the Patagonian Andes, mineral deposits of northern Chile, Andean glacial lake outburst flood hazards.

Additional Information
Department of Environmental Earth Science
Science Building. Room 264
cunninghamw@easternct.edu
Curriculum Vitae
Website

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Christine Garcia

Christine Garcia (Ph.D. University of New Mexico) is an Assistant Professor of English at Eastern Connecticut State University. She earned her PhD in Rhetoric and Composition at the University of New Mexico. She earned both her B.A. and M.A. from Angelo State University in her hometown of San Angelo, Texas, with a focus on Chicana/o Literature. Her current research focuses on Chicanx Rhetorics, Gloria Anzaldúa autohistoria-teoria, and Labor and Civil Rights Rhetorics.

Areas of interest
Chicanx Rhetorics, Gloria Anzaldúa autohistoria-teoria, and Labor and Civil Rights Rhetorics.

Additional Information
Department of English
Webb Hall. Room 247
Garciachris@easternct.edu
Website

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Mary L. Kenny

Mary Lorena Kenny (PhD Columbia, MPH Columbia) is a cultural anthropologist and professor of anthropology. She has worked for almost two decades conducting field research in Northeast Brazil. Her work focuses on the issues of heritage, memory, and identity, human rights and social justice, and recently Haitian migration to Brazil. She was awarded a Rockefeller fellowship to study cultural heritage at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. and is currently working on a manuscript about quilombos (maroon communities). Selected publications include Child Labor, Oxford University Press (2014); The Contours of Quilombola Identity in the Sertão, Brazilian Slavery and Its Legacies.  Luso-Brazilian Review (2013); The social and political use of quilombola heritage. Sharing Cultures (2011); La construcción del patrimonio en los quilombos brasileños Antípoda (2011); Landscapes of Memory: Drought and Concentration Camps in Ceará, Brazil, Latin American Perspectives (2009) [Reprint as Seca, Campos de concentrações, e Turismo. Desafios e Perspectivas in Revista Tendências: Caderno de Ciências Sociais, Brasil 2015]; Deeply rooted in the present: making heritage in Brazilian quilombos. Intangible Heritage Routledge (2009); Hidden Heads of Households: Child Labor in Northeast Brazil, University of Toronto Press (2007); Drought, Clientalism, Fatalism and Fear in Northeast Brazil Ethics, Place and Environment (2002); Orators and Outcasts, Wanderers and Workers: Street Children in BrazilSymbolic Childhood (2002); No Visible Means of Support: Child Labor in the urban, informal labor market in Northeast BrazilHuman Organization (1999).

Areas of interest
Heritage, memory, and identity; Afro-Brazilian culture and politics; child labor; medical, cultural, applied anthropology, politics of ethnography, public health (international health, reproductive rights).

Additional Information
Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work
Webb Hall. Tel. (860)465-0192
kennym@easternct.edu
Curriculum vitae
Website

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Martín Mendoza-Botelho

Martín Mendoza-Botelho is Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science, Philosophy and Geography at Eastern Connecticut State University. He holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge (U.K.), a Masters’ degree in Economic Development (MPhil) from the University of Glasgow (U.K.) and a Bachelor’s in Economics from the Catholic University of Bolivia. He specializes on issues of institutional strengthening and social and economic development in developing countries with emphasis on Latin America and Bolivia, his country of origin. His academic experience includes work at Tulane University in New Orleans, including postdoctoral work at the Stone Center for Latin American Studies, University of Cambridge, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and George Washington University among other academic centres. He also served at the Organisation of American States (OAS) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean in Washington D.C. and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Bolivia. He has received several teaching and research awards, including a national research award from the Programme for Strategic Research in Bolivia (PIEB) and was recipient of the British Chevenning. He has published several pieces in peer-reviewed journals and is the current editor of the Bolivian Research Review journal.

Areas of interest
Political economy, poverty reduction initiatives; decentralization and local development; human and social development, processes of social and indigenous participation; political institutional transformation; democratization and citizenship; social capital and social policies; Andean region; Bolivia.

Courses taught for the program
LAS-240 / PSC-240   Latin American Politics

Additional Information
Department of Political Science, Philosophy and Geography
Webb Hall. Tel. (860)465-5257
mendozabotelhom@easternct.edu
Curriculum vitae
Website

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Joan Meznar

Joan Meznar received her Ph.D. in History and Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.  Her early research focused on popular culture in nineteenth-century Brazil, in particular on how individuals who were neither masters nor slaves participated in the new nation.  Those interests resulted in publications on the role of  female honor in determining who among the free poor would be conscripted into the new Brazilian army, as well as whose children would be tapped to fill the labor gap in the years just before the abolition of African slavery.  Her current research examines ways in which religion, and especially devotion to specific representations of the Virgin Mary, has contributed to a Brazilian national identity.  Professor Meznar has been a member of the faculties of Mount Holyoke College, the University of South Carolina, Westmont College, and Eastern Connecticut State University.  Her research in Brazil, Portugal, and Italy has been funded by two Fulbright fellowships, a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Research Grant, and numerous grants from her home institutions.  She has also participated in several National Endowment for the Humanities Seminars and Institutes for College Teachers.

Areas of interest
Brazil, culture, religion, gender.

Courses taught for the program
LAS-255 / HIS-255   Introduction to Latin American History
LAS-342 / HIS-342   Modern Latin America
LAS-345 / HIS-345   History of Mexico
LAS-346 / HIS-346   Central America
LAS-347 / HIS-347   History of Brazil

Additional Information
Department of History
Eastern Hall 9. Tel. (860)465-4601
meznarj@easternct.edu
Curriculum vitae
Website

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Ricardo Pérez

Ricardo Pérez (Ph.D. 2000 University of Connecticut) joined Eastern Connecticut State University in 2001 as Assistant Professor of Anthropology. Currently, he is Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program. His area of specialization is cultural anthropology and his teaching and research interests include economic and urban anthropology, transnational migration, globalization and sustainable development, especially in the fishing and tourism sectors. His current research focuses on state-driven development processes in the context of economic and cultural globalization and examines the economic, cultural, and environmental impacts of tourism development in Cuba. Since 2005, he has been conducting field research in the Sabana-Camaguey Archipelago, an ’emerging tourist area’ in the north-central coast of Cuba, where some of the most important tourism development projects on the island are under way. Currently, he is writing a manuscript (tentatively entitled Authentically Global: Cuban Culture and Economy in the Age of Mass Tourism) about sustainable tourism development and environmental conservation in Cuba since the start of the Special Period in the 1990s. Prior to this research experience, between 1996 and 2002 he conducted research in southern Puerto Rico and examined the transformation of the agrarian economy in three communities where government intervention since the 1940s has sought to modernize traditional forms of economic production. Out of this original research, he published a book and several articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Areas of interest
Cultural, economic and urban anthropology; transnational migration; globalization; social theory; sustainable development; the Spanish-speaking Caribbean; U.S. Latino Studies.

Courses taught for the program
LAS-225 / ANT-225  Contemporary Puerto Rican Culture and Society
LAS-240 / ANT-240  Latinos in the United States

Additional Information
Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work
Webb Hall 433. Tel. (860)465-0191
perezr@easternct.edu
Curriculum vitae
Website

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James W. Russell

James W. Russell (Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison) recently retired as Professor of Sociology. His research has centered on social, economic, and political change in Latin America  and the rise of and challenges to U.S. domination of it.  From 1990 to 1992 he was Senior Fulbright Researcher and Lecturer at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City.  He is the author of eight books, including Class and Race Formation in North America: Mexico, Canada, the United States (University of Toronto Press); Escape from Texas: A Novel of Slavery and the Texas War of Independence (Sloan Publishing); and, with Silvia Núñez García,  Clase y Sociedad en Estados Unidos (Ed. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México).

Areas of interest
Mexico, Cuba, Central America, class and racial inequalit.

Additional Information
Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work (retired)

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Emiliano C. Villanueva

Dr. Villanueva has an extensive worldwide teaching experience. He has taught at the University level in Argentina, France and Spain, and was a Faculty for 7 years in Dubai for the public college system of the United Arab Emirates. Dr. Villanueva is currently an Assistant Professor of Management and Marketing at Eastern. He got his MSc in Management from the University of Paris, and a MPhil and a PhD in Economic History from the University of Barcelona. A native of Argentina, Dr. Villanueva was early engaged in politics and economic development issues. His research is linked to wine economic and business history, and Latin American and Argentinean economic history. Dr. Villanueva is an specialist in Argentinean wine economic and business history, and his papers in “Wine Heritage Marketing in the Malbec Landscape” and “Economic Development in Regional Argentina: Mendoza in the second half of the twentieth century (1946-2001)” have been published in various international journals. He is a permanent member of the International Wine Organization, the American Association of Wine Economists, and is within the Editorial Board of the Iberoamerican Society of Agribusiness, Viticulture, and Rural Issues. Dr. Villanueva speaks three languages fluently and has traveled to 40 different countries.

Areas of interest
Latin American economic history, Argentinean political and economic history, Argentinean wine economic and business history.

Additional Information
Department of Business Administration
Webb Hall 444 – Tel. (860)465-0478
villanuevae@easternct.edu
Curriculum vitae
Website

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Maline D. Werness-Rude

Maline D. Werness-Rude is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art and Art History at Eastern Connecticut State University.  Werness-Rude (then Werness) earned her Ph.D. in Art History at the University of Texas, Austin (UT), where she specialized in the study of ancient Mesoamerican art and architecture.  Maline has published her MA thesis (also completed at UT), “Pabellon Molded-Carved Ceramics: A Consideration in Light of the Terminal Classic Collapse of Classic Maya Civilization,” online through FAMSI and continues to focus on Mesoamerica and the Maya.  She has presented in, and organized, national and international conferences and conference sessions.  She has just contributed an invited chapter titled “What is in a Date?  A Name?  Positioning the Chocholá Style in Time and Space” to an edited volume on recent advances in Puuc (i.e. northern Yucatecan) archaeology.  She is also working on several co-edited and co-authored projects, including one centered on Mesoamerican ceramics.  Another—Maya Imagery, Architecture, and Activity: Space and Spatial Analysis in Art History, co-edited with Kaylee Spencer—has just been published by the University of New Mexico Press and focuses on the way the Maya constructed space in two and three dimensions.  Secondary areas of interest include Colonial and Modern Latin American art and architecture.

Areas of interest
Maya, Mesoamerica, Mexico, Yucatan Peninsula, Puuc region, Guatemala, Petén region, Belize, Honduras, art history, archaeology, anthropology, epigraphy, ceramics.

Courses taught for the program
LAS-224 / ART-224 Mexico: Art & Architecture

Additional Information
Department of Art and Art History
Shafer Hall – 114E . Tel. (860)465-4345
wernessrudem@easternct.edu
Curriculum vitae
Website